Planting Seeds

Planting the seeds was probably Carter’s most anticipated activity of the month.  It turned out to be extra-special because he and his Daddy worked on it together.  In Carter’s own words, “I put them down in the dirt for a little dirt nap.”  The seed packets promise that in 7-10 days they’ll wake up as plants.  I can’t wait.  We’ve got Cilantro, Basil and 5 really cool varieties of Heirloom Tomatoes.  Combined with the Cilantro, we’ve got great salsa.  Combined with the Basil, we’ll have some yummy Italian dishes.


Weather Books

On your next trip to the library, look for these great books about different types of weather.  When I taught in the classroom, one of my favorite parts of any unit or project was researching great books to share with the class.  Though this list isn’t extensive, these are some of my favorite authors and the most worth your time to find. (Book descriptions not mine)


A Busy Year by Leo Lionni

In this deceptively simple tale, Lionni characteristically hides a moral from which kids of all ages will profit. On New Year’s Day, twin mice Willie and Winnie discover a “snowmouse” that appears to be holding a broom. But a voice announces, “I am not a broom. I am Woody the tree!” So begins a momentous friendship. The twins visit Woody each month and are thrilled when small buds and then leaves and blossoms appear on her branches. In June Woody confesses that she fears summertime, when people’s carelessness with cigarettes and campfires causes many trees to die. Ready with a water hose, the twins protect their pal when a forest fire breaks out in July. After her leaves blow to the ground, the caring duo brings Christmas gifts to a cheerfully decorated Woody, and all are “happy and ready for another busy year.”

Froggy Gets Dress by Jonathan London

The rambunctious Froggy has more pressing pursuits on his mind than hibernating through the winter–“Snow! Snow! I want to play in the snow!” Accompanied by kid-pleasing sound effects (zoop! zup! zat!) he excitedly dons cold-weather gear and “flop flop flop”s outdoors. His mother, however, quickly points out that he has forgotten a few items; he returns to the house repeatedly for such essential apparel as pants, a shirt and a coat–and his long johns. Any youngster who has ever bundled up for wintertime play will surely laugh out loud over this addled amphibian’s constant undressing and dressing.

It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G Shaw

The white shape silhouetted against a blue background changes on every page. Is it a rabbit, a bird, or just spilt milk? Children are kept guessing until the surprise ending—and will be encouraged to improvise similar games of their own.

The Cloud Book by Tomie de Paola

Introduces the ten most common types of clouds, the myths that have been inspired by their shapes, and what they can tell about coming weather changes.

Little Cloud by Eric Carle

A familiar story line involving the whimsical world of ever-changing shapes in the sky. Little Cloud drifts away from his wispy friends and entertains himself by changing into a variety of forms a lamb, an airplane, a shark, a clown, etc. before joining the others to form one big cloud that rains. His trademark painted cut-paper collages are eye-catching and appealing. Children will enjoy the simple text and the colorful illustrations.


Like a Windy Day by Frank Asch and Devin Asch

In a poetic text, a girl imagines herself doing all of the things that the wind can do. The brief story is filled with action verbs as the child follows the personified wind through the countryside, into town, and along the beach and riverside. Broad and sweeping spreads are filled with movement as the child tumbles, races, and flies until she settles at the end “like a gentle breeze.” While the pictures are large enough for group sharing, there are many clever and amusing details to be found on closer inspection. Youngsters will find socks and neckties flying through the air, a magician’s hat complete with rabbit blowing away, and a TV inside an apartment turned on to a weather report.


The Wind Blew by Pat Hutchins

The wind blew, and blew, and blew! It blew so hard, it took everything with it: Mr. White’s umbrella, Priscilla’s balloon, the twins’ scarves, even the wig on the judge’s head. But just when the wind was about to carry everything out to sea, it changed its mind!

Clifford and The Big Strom by Norman Bridwell

When a hurricane strikes while Clifford and Emily Elizabeth are having fun visiting her grandmother at the beach, Clifford the Big Red Dog knows just what to do to keep everyone safe.

Just a Thunderstorm by Gina and Mercer Mayer

During a big thunderstorm, Mom and Dad find lots of ways to comfort Little Critter and his sister. Mom makes a fun dinner and Dad lights the candles as they both share their wisdom about thunder, lightning—and rainbows!

Jubal's Wish by Audrey and Don Wood

The story begins “Once upon a bright and sunny day.” This chipper bullfrog, “so happy his feet barely touched the ground,” has a picnic to share. But his overworked neighbor, Gerdy Toad, is too busy with her brood of “toadlets,” and Dalbert Lizard, a sad, washed-up sea captain, is not in the mood. When a wizard appears to grant Jubal a wish, the hero hopes for happiness for his pals. Alas, not only do they seem more miserable than ever, but black clouds, thunder and lightning darken Jubal’s sunny day and his spirits. Luckily the storm precedes Jubal’s fulfilled wish and a predictable, happy-ever-after conclusion.


The Rain Came Down by David Shannon

“On Saturday morning, the rain came down. It made the chickens squawk.” But that’s only the beginning. Before the sun comes out again, an entire neighborhood is in a crabby uproar. The owner of the beauty parlor squabbles with the barber, who argues with the painter, who has just accidentally bonked the barber in the head with his paint can. Then the baker unintentionally pokes the pizza man in the nose with his umbrella, and they start quarreling. Soon, “the whole block was honking, yelling, bickering, and barking.” There’s no end in sight… until the rain stops, the sun comes out, the air smells fresh and sweet, and a rainbow appears. Before they know it, the bickerers are helping each other clean up the mess caused by the ruckus, and everyone’s smiling again.

Mushroom in the Rain by Mirra Ginsburg

Caught out in the rain, an ant takes shelter under a very tiny mushroom. Soon, a wet butterfly, then a drenched mouse, a dripping sparrow, and even a rain-soaked rabbit each beg to join him under his miniature umbrella. How can the ant let the others in when there is barely room enough for one? But as the rain comes down and down, they all somehow manage to squeeze together and share the tiny shelter. And when the sun finally comes out, the ant discovers a magical secret of just what happens to mushrooms in the rain!

Signs of Spring Book

I love to make books with children.  It’s one of the easiest and most effective ways to teach them anything about their little world.
The warmer weather has brought a lot of noticeable changes here in SC.  Carter and I took a walk to see what Signs of Spring we could find just in our yard.
To make your own book, grab your digital camera and head outdoors in search of all the things that are popping up, changing, blooming and turning green.  Snap pictures.  Most digital cameras are so easy you can let your child help.  Though some pictures will inevitably turn out like this:
The headless parents.
You can check out some of the signs of spring that we captured, then head out to make your own!
(On a separate note, I believe the links to my documents that I’ve posted have been requiring you to log into Google before viewing them.  I *hope* I’ve fixed that today.  They should be viewable by just clicking the links.)
Enjoy and thanks for your comments!